Student: Xochitl de Anda
Majors: Social Justice & Community Development
Started LUC: 2013
I'm from the "Land of Opportunities" otherwise known as Iowa.
Today I'm going to class, in two weeks I will be done with my degree and after that... well I'm still trying to figure it out. My studies and work focus on education and undocumented students. Thus the hope and goal would be to continue doing this. Specifically working with universities to be more inclusive toward undocumented students.
I'm a graduate research assistant in the School of Social Work, I intern at SDMA working on the Undocumented (DREAMer) Initiative and I facilitate the support group for undocumented and mix status students known as Undocumented & Proud (UP).
There are many things that make me smile about Loyola. Since I have to choose one thing, one of the things that I am very grateful are the various relationships I have been able to foster with faculty and staff at Loyola. They have encouraged me to achieve my goals. They have provided feedback when I need it and asked for it. They have also support me academically, professionally and personally. I know that these relationships will continue after I graduate and for that I am also grateful.
One of the ways that I contribute to the Loyola community is by supporting other students of color. Whether that be by engaging in discussions or simply creating community amongst us. Another way that I contribute is by being part of Loyola Chicago University Empowering Sisters (LUCES). This has allowed me contribute my experiences as a graduate student and woman of color. LUCES is a wonderful group of women so I always try to invite my fellow graduate women of color. The experiences that I've had with LUCES are ones that I like to share with others.
The two most consistent ways that interact with Roger's Park and other communities is by reading the news and supporting local business. I like to read about the events that each community has and every once in a while I will attend to an event. The local business that I have supported always make me feel at home and treat me very kindly.
This a tough question, but the best way I can summarize it is by defining justice as love. Love for one another, yourself, the planet and life. But not the superficial kind of love where sacrifice and challenges are not involved. The kind of love that is willing to acknowledge the injustice and take action.
It has taught me to think more critically of my intersectionality in regard to race, culture, gender and education. I have always been passionate about justice but had not really been asked to think critically of it. Because of various classes I have been able to reach beneath the iceberg of social justice. I think when I first started my program my notion of justice was vague- the tip of the iceberg. I'm grateful that I have been challenged by my classes and friends to think deeper and critically.
On campus I tend to spend more of time in SDMA so their resource room is one of my favorite spots. I've met wonderful people there. I also like going to Terry Center because it is relaxing and there's free tea! In Chicago I have many favorite spots. My favorite neighborhood is Pilsen. I love that neighborhood because of the art, the cafes, the food and of course the culture.
Share the privilege that comes with higher education. Not everyone has the same or equal access to higher education thus it is important that as we are conscious of this and in our own way share this privilege.